A region of space devoid of any fluid molecules resulting in a zero pressure in ideal cases. In practice, even space has a small but finite number of molecules.

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What is the speed of sound in space?

Given that space is not a perfect vacuum, what is the speed of sound therein? Google was not very helpful in this regard, as the only answer I found was 300 km/s, from Astronomy Cafe, which is not a ...
28
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5answers
3k views

What physical evidence is there that subatomic particles pop in and out of existence?

What physical evidence shows that subatomic particles pop in and out of existence?
22
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4answers
3k views

Is space “real”, or is it some sort of accepted postulate?

What is space? It seems to be everywhere in the equations of physics, as some sort of postulate or hidden hypothesis. We also have a direct experience of it, but is it "real"? The fact that we ...
21
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4answers
2k views

Can one obtain free energy from the vacuum?

It is known that from the vacuum of a quantum field theory, virtual particle pairs are created and destroyed; is it possible to capture these particles thus obtaining free energy from the vacuum?
19
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0answers
377 views

Finding the vacuum which breaks a symmetry

I will start with an example. Consider a symmetry breaking pattern like $SU(4)\rightarrow Sp(4)$. We know that in $SU(4)$ there is the Standard Model (SM) symmetry $SU(2)_L\times U(1)_Y$ but depending ...
17
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2answers
4k views

How does space affect the human body (no space suit, no space craft)

How does "outer space" affect the human body? Some movies show it as the body exploding, imploding or even freezing solid. I know space is essentially a vacuum with 0 pressure and the dispersion of ...
16
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4answers
1k views

Is there an intuitive description of vacuum entanglement?

People often refer to the fact that the vacuum is an entangled state (It's even described as a maximally entangled state). I was trying to get a feeling for what that really means. The problem is ...
16
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6answers
1k views

Do all massive bodies emit Hawking radiation?

It is known that any accelerated observer is subject to a heat bath due to Unruh radiation. The principle of equivalence suggests that any stationary observer on the surface of a massive body should ...
15
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2answers
277 views

What would happen to wet laundry in the vacuum of space?

Imagine for a second that I was in a college dorm room frustrated that all the dryers were broken or in use. I'm impatient and not a jerk so I don't wait or take out someone else's laundry, I shoot it ...
13
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3answers
1k views

How should I clean a part before installing it in a vacuum system?

What are proven procedures for preparing a part that comes fresh out of the workshop for ultra-high vacuum (UHV) and extremely-high vacuum (XUV)?
13
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7answers
1k views

Can energy be taken out of the QFT vacuum?

There have been recent questions about the vacuum. In my simplified knowledge the vacuum is like a ground state energy level, and also that there might even exist other lower energy levels than the ...
12
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2answers
728 views

Does string theory have a notion of vacuum?

Does string theory have a notion of vacuum? If yes, what is known about it?
12
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2answers
2k views

Are we living in a false vacuum? Is there any way to tell?

I was thinking of the noted 1980 paper by Sidney Coleman and Frank de Luccia--"Gravitational effects of and on vacuum decay"-- about metastable vacuum states that could tunnel to a lower energy "true ...
12
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1answer
1k views

How to interpret vacuum instability of Higgs potential

If the Higgs mass is in a certain range, the quartic self-coupling of the Higgs field becomes negative after renormalization group flow to a high energy scale, signalling an instability of the vacuum ...
11
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3answers
7k views

What is meant by Vacuum?

What is the exact meaning of the word vacuum? Is it just a state of very low pressure or is it nothingness (as in there is nothing)? Also, when we say space is vacuum - it must be referring to ...
11
votes
1answer
196 views

How long will our artifacts last in moon & space?

Given all the different space probes and equipment that have been either launched into space or lying on the moon. How long will they last before they get decayed into dust or some unrecognizable ...
11
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1answer
467 views

How is it possible the speed of light is not constant?

I was reading this article recently, which summarizes a couple of new studies into the speed of light. In one paper, Marcel Urban from the University of Paris-Sud, located in Orsay, France and his ...
10
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3answers
489 views

What is the difference between $|0\rangle $ and $0$?

What is the difference between $|0\rangle $ and $0$ in the context of $$a_- |0\rangle =0~?$$
10
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4answers
2k views

Why is space a vacuum? [duplicate]

Why is space a vacuum ? Why is space free from air molecules ? I heard that even space has a small but finite number of molecules. If so, won't there be a drag in space?
10
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6answers
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Does anything exist in the intergalactic space?

I am a part time physics enthusiast and I seldom wonder about the intergalactic space. First, it is my perception that all(almost all) the objects in the universe are organized in the forms of ...
10
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3answers
2k views

What are the calculations for Vacuum Energy?

In wiki the Vacuum Energy in a cubic meter of free space ranges from $10^{-9}$ from the cosmological constant to $10^{113}$ due to calculations in Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) and Stochastic ...
10
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5answers
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What causes the permittivity and permeability of vacuum?

When light travels through a material, it gets "slowed down" (at least its net speed decreases). The atoms in the material "disturb" the light in some way which causes it to make stops on its path. ...
9
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3answers
166 views

Are vacuum fluctuations really happening all the time?

In popular physics articles and even some physics classes I've been to, the vacuum of space is described as being constantly full of quantum fluctuations. Supposedly, all sorts of ...
9
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1answer
562 views

The vacuum in quantum field theories: what is it?

In Section 10.1 of his textbook Quantum Field Theory for Mathematicians, Ticciati writes Assuming that the background field or classical source $j(x)$ is zero at space-time infinity, the presence ...
8
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4answers
340 views

Direct exposure to the vacuum of space

I was watching a few sci-fi movies and was wondering the real science explaining what would happen if you were to be subject to the conditions of outerspace. I read the wikipedia article on space ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Measured Higgs mass and vacuum stability

There is such a thing, called "stability bound" on mass of the Higgs boson. The basic idea (as I understand it) is that we take Higgs self-coupling, and calculate its renormalization running. And it ...
8
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5answers
747 views

Does time exist in a vacuum?

Imagine a perfect vacuum devoid of all matter and radiation. Irrespective of whether such a space can even exist, my intuition tells me that time would not exist within such a space. What this thought ...
8
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2answers
176 views

Do siphons really require air pressure to function?

Can the siphon mechanism work in vacuums? There seems to have been experiments where exotic liquids (low vapor pressure) were used in siphons mounted in vacuum chambers. The idea is that the falling ...
8
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2answers
182 views

What are the current experimental limits on the polarizability of the vacuum?

Many (all?) materials are polarizable at some level; meaning that when we apply an electric field across the material, there is an induced dipole moment $$ \vec{p}=\alpha(\omega)\vec{E}, $$ where ...
7
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5answers
915 views

Proving and demonstrating vacuum in container without breaking it

Let there be a hollow container made of glass or some other transparent material, roughly the size and shape of an apple. Let the walls be of sufficient thickness for the container to be safely ...
7
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1answer
835 views

Do we breathe air by creating a vacuum?

How do we suck air into our lungs, are we generating a vacuum?
7
votes
3answers
730 views

What really goes on in a vacuum?

I've been told that a vacuum isn't actually empty space, rather that it consists of antiparticle pairs spontaneously materialising then quickly annihilating, which leads me to a few questions. ...
7
votes
2answers
539 views

What is “Energy” of a vacuum in the context of quantum theory?

I'm not a physicist or cosmologist, so I hope I am asking the right question with the right words here. My question regards the word "energy" as it pertains to quantum vacuum states, and to concepts ...
7
votes
1answer
255 views

Understanding multiple instanton contributions to vacuum tunneling in a double potential well

I'm trying to understand the method of calculating the transition probability of one vacuum state to another in a double well potential, using instantons. The reference I am following is Sidney ...
7
votes
0answers
273 views

Is a venturi pump feasible at very low pressure?

I need assistance (or experience feedback) in estimating if a Venturi pump would work at low pressure. A boiler under vacuum (10% atmosphere) will produce steam (at a given speed depending on the ...
6
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5answers
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Have we managed to make a perfect vacuum?

Have we managed to make a device without any atom inside it on earth? I was reading about vacuum here, and I found in the examples part here that even on the best man made vacuum devices, there are ...
6
votes
5answers
217 views

Can “vacuum be brought” from outer space?

Instead of creating vacuum in chambers on earth, why can't vacuum be brought from outer space in chambers? Outer space pressure ranges from $10^{-6}$torr to $10^{-17}$torr very very low. Is it ...
6
votes
1answer
226 views

How do instantons cause vacuum decay?

From what I read about on instantons (Zee, QFT in a Nutshell, pg 309-310), an instanton is a vacuum solution that maps $S^3 \rightarrow S^3$ (the boundary of Euclideanized spacetime), which comes from ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Does water have surface tension in a vacuum?

I could be totally wrong here but I was thinking about water surface and what creates that. My thought is it is the thin mixture of water and air separating the two. This mixture creates the boundary ...
6
votes
2answers
906 views

Wheeler-Feynman theory, QED without fields, vacuum polarization

Initially Wheeler and Feynman postulated that, the electromagnetic field is just a set of bookkeeping variables required in a Hamiltonian description. This is very neat because makes the point of ...
6
votes
1answer
277 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking: How can the vacuum be infinitly degenerate?

In classical field theories, it is with no difficulty to imagine a system to have a continuum of ground states, but how can this be in the quantum case? Suppose a continuous symmetry with charge $Q$ ...
6
votes
1answer
353 views

Why does the echo for soundwaves hitting a vacuum come back out of phase? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Phase shift of 180 degrees on reflection from optically denser medium I've read in a physics book for musicians that, when a soundwave hits a near-solid object, it ...
6
votes
1answer
418 views

Defining the ground state energy of a QFT

I would like to hear of some general discussion on how is the ground state and its energy defined in QFT and how does one go about finding it. (..at least in some simple cases I have seen the use of ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

What is the difference between quantum fluctuations and thermal fluctuations?

Start with a simple scalar field Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}(\phi)$ at zero temperature $T = 0$, which has a hidden symmetry and spontaneously break it. By the standard procedure a field $\phi$ is ...
5
votes
2answers
965 views

How do electromagnetic waves travel in a vacuum?

This is perhaps a total newbie question, and I will try to formulate it the best I can, so here it goes. How does an electromagnetic wave travel through for example, the vacumm of space? I usually ...
5
votes
3answers
540 views

Why is normal ordering a valid operation?

Why is normal ordering even a valid operation in the first place? I mean it can give us some nice results, but why can we do the ordering for the operators like that? Is its definition motivated by ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Water in vacuum (or space) and temperature in space

So, water in vacuum will boil first and then freeze. I don't know how the freeze happens. As pressure lowers to zero, what happened to freezing point? (I know heat taken by vapor, and the water cool ...
5
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2answers
600 views

“Space” in General Relativity and “vacuum” in Standard Model, is it the same thing?

And expansion of space is equal to expansion of vacuum?
5
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2answers
10k views

What exists in the Space between atoms

Apologies to all if this has been asked before, I searched but was unable to find one similar. This is a question that has been bugging me for a while that i haven't really been able to find a ...
5
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1answer
128 views

How fast until you feel wind in space? [duplicate]

I couldn't find this question asked anywhere else, so I thought I would ask it here: does anyone know how fast you would have to be traveling in space to feel 'wind' from the particles in front of ...